Distilled in September of 2009 this Benriach has been matured in a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel for 8 years. Young & Spritely profile.
Nose: Fruity and rather on the floral side, this opens with spiced apples, stewed dark fruits (cherries and plums) and pronounced sugar dusted rose petals – Turkish Delight. There’s both earthiness and yeastiness here – dusty soils and freshly made bread dough. Gentle vanilla pervades throughout, but never overstays its welcome. The addition of water brings out some of the character suggested by the bottle name – wholegrain oats and gentle cereals, as well as tangy grape juice and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Taste: Bitingly sharp and citric (water please!) – breads and doughs again, now which greatly increased spicing – pepper, cinnamon, baking spice and a lick of salt. The underlying earthiness is much more discernible now – damp soils and musty walls. Less floral, but still slightly garden-fresh with hays and heather. Water thankfully reduces the initial sharpness of the citrus, transforming it in to more of a champagne fizz.
Finish: Medium, quite mineral and with demi-sweet candied peels.
This BenRiach is most certainly spritely with plenty of punch and bold spicing. Whilst fresh and lively, this certainly benefits from some dilution, which reduces the initial attack and allows the more summery flavours to shine.